OK then: a really short blog!
I know we know that faith without works is dead. I am glad that there is a general acknowledgement that part of serving Christ is bringing compassion and practical help in His name to situations of need and that on Judgement Day the one who has been appointed to judge the world will say, “In as much as you did unto one of the least of these etc.” and “In as much as you did it not unto… etc.” Nonetheless, I found these words of Henri Nouwen in “Clowning in Rome” hit me and held on to me. I think there is wisdom and prophetic warning here: I felt a fear for “the Church of today,” if I can use that broad phrase.
“It might be that by de-emphasising solitude in favour of the urgent needs of our world we have endangered the very basis of our lives as Christian witnesses.” (Clowning in Rome, published by D.L.T. 2001, page 12.)
I will resist all urge to say why I think these are important words to consider. Think them through on a personal level, on a congregational level or even on a wider level….
…well, I can’t resist the urge to say this: if sermons this coming Sunday just move people to get more involved with need, rather than resulting in people spending time alone with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then perhaps they will have been dangerous or damaging sermons, if you know what I mean. Sincere listeners may suffer and so may our communities and parishes. Nouwen says that without that solitude we can never be effective builders or enablers of true community.. why he says that would stop the promise of this being a short blog! It’s for another day…
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